The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is now accepting applications for the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. In partnership with Farm Credit, AFBF is seeking innovative solutions to address agricultural challenges. A total of $165,000 will be awarded through the national business challenge. Startup companies working to solve traditional ag challenges or focusing on new and emerging issues are encouraged to submit an online application.
“Farm Bureau members across the country continue to grapple with a number of challenges associated with the pandemic,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a news release. “Now, more than ever, we need creative solutions from entrepreneurs to help our farmers, ranchers and rural communities thrive.”
A total of 10 startup companies will be selected by AFBF and Farm Credit to compete at the AFBF Convention in January 2022 as semi-finalists. Semi-finalist teams will each be awarded $10,000 and will be announced on October 5. Each of the teams will receive pitch training and additional guidance from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management faculty. The 10 semi-finalists will compete to get to the final round of four teams that will each receive an additional $5,000.
The final round will feature four teams competing live on stage for an audience of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives. The winner of the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge will win a total of $50,000 while the runner-up will receive a total of $20,000. A People’s Choice Team will also be chosen by a public vote and will receive an additional $5,000.
Funding for the awards has been made possible by sponsors including Bayer Crop Science, FMC Corporation, Farm Bureau Bank, John Deere, and Farm Bureau Financial Services. The Ag Innovation Challenge was launched in 2015 as the very first national competition exclusively for rural entrepreneurs. All applicants will need to be Farm Bureau members in order to qualify as a semi-finalist. Applications will need to be received no later than midnight Eastern Daylight Time on August 20.